Anti Fascism

“From Spain to Iraq”

Just in case there are a few readers who persist in misunderstanding the imperialist nature of jihadism, here’s Al-Qaida’s deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, to remind you what they’re really all about:

“All the world is a battlefield open in front of us,” he added. “The war with Israel does not depend on ceasefires … It is a jihad for the sake of Allah and will last until [our] religion prevails … from Spain to Iraq.”

The loss of Spain is a perennial Al Qaeda theme. Indeed, Bin Laden’s very first videotaped broadcast following 9/11, made reference to the “tragedy of Al Andalus” in its opening sentence. If the significance of the allusion passes you by, the Guardian provides helpful context:

Spain was under Muslim rule for several centuries, starting in 711 and ending with the fall of Granada in 1492

I doubt whether Hizbullah will be particuarly enthusiastic about Al Qaeda’s support. As Brian Whitaker points out, Al-Zawahiri tends to describe the Shia, not as “our people”, but rather as “infidels”. You may also remember that the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi used to refer to the Shia as “Rafidha” – which in this context means “those who reject Islam” – and put considerable energy into waging “all out war” against them.